Shogun Rua believes he deserves a shot at Daniel Cormier’s 205-pound title should he defeat Anthony Smith at UFC Hamburg.
Rua will challenge Smith in the main event of the UFC Fight Night Hamburg event on July 22nd. Smith might not be ranked in the top 15 just yet, but the Brazilian still thinks a win over the young prospect would do well for his 205-pound title bid.
Cormier controversially stated recently on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show that he’d like to fight Rua before he steps into the Octagon with Brock Lesnar for their heavyweight title fight. Shogun recently spoke to MMA Fighting and said he’d be open to a quick turnaround fight with “DC” in November:
”I think Cormier is a great athlete, a compete fighter,” Rua said. “Winning this fight I absolutely deserve this chance because of my history and my career in MMA.”
Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic last weekend (Sat. July 7, 2018) to capture the UFC heavyweight championship. The victory made him the second-ever dual weight champion in UFC history. “DC” made quick work of Miocic, finishing him in the first round via knockout. Many were surprised with how fast Cormier was able to finish the fight – but not Rua:
”It was no surprise to me,” “Shogun” said. “Cormier is used to fighting big guys at heavyweight and beat Miocic decisively. I had no favorites in this fight, anyone could win.”
In regards to a potential fight with Cormier, Rua knows it would be no easy task. He credited Cormier for being skilled in all aspects of the mixed martial arts (MMA) game, but for now, is focusing his full attention on what’s in front of him – Anthony Smith:
”It’s tough because he’s well-rounded, is good standing and on the ground, has one of the best wrestling in the UFC,” Rua said. “It’s tough because you have to train everything for him. It’s a big challenge, but you become a target when you have the belt because that’s what everyone dreams with.
“But I’m actually not thinking about the belt now because I have a good opponent ahead of me and I can’t think about it. The belt is my dream, of course, but I have to go step by step. I know that I will be closer if I win this fight.”